Alex Lowes makes the top six on day one at Imola

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Alex Lowes put his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki into the top-six on the opening day of World Superbike action at Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari racetrack this afternoon after continued developments to the new ECU system began to bear fruit.

Improving on his time from the morning’s first free practice session by a second and a half, Alex completed the day’s 90 minutes on-track with a 1’48.660 on his final revolution having completed 26 laps aboard his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki throughout the two sessions. The detailed electronics analysis continued both on and off-the-track with the team feeling confident for the weekend’s progression.

Track temperatures hit 41°C for the mid-afternoon session as the Italian sunshine bathed the fans at the iconic Imola circuit. Kawasaki dominated the combined times as Jonathan Rea bettered team-mate Tom Sykes with a 1’47.344 heading into tomorrow’s final qualifying practice.

Action returns to Imola at 09:45hrs local time (08:45BST) tomorrow as Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet bid to secure qualification for the afternoon’s Superpole. Grid places for Sunday’s 19-lap races will be decided from 15:00hrs (14:00BST).

Alex Lowes:
“We’ve had some niggling issues today but the lads are working really hard and we’re making big steps over time. We haven’t been able to do as many laps as I would have wanted but we’ll work on the data tonight, chip away at it, and hopefully we can make another big-step with the consistency and get a bit closer to the front guys tomorrow. It’s really nice to be back in Imola, I’m enjoying riding the GSX-R and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Despite successful electronics developments last week, Imola – as expected – has thrown-up some significant challenges today in terms of getting the setting right and providing the riders with predictable performance. Even with some issues we’ve made good progress on Alex’s side and to be in the top-six and only just-over a second off P1, considering some of the improvements that still need to be made, is very encouraging and gives the team a decent base to continue developments tomorrow.”